How can I get a driver's license in Vietnam?
Updated: Dec 28, 2019
Before coming to Vietnam we strongly advice you to do the following:
Obtain an International Drivers Permit in your home country.
AND bring your original home country's license (car or motorbike) to Vietnam. Make sure that the duration of this license will be valid throughout the amount of time that you are planning to reside in Vietnam.
There are three ways for foreigners to legally drive in Vietnam:
Get a Vietnam-recognized IDP (International Drivers Permit)
Get a Vietnamese license
Drive a 50 cc motorbike
1. International driver's license (IDL) / international driving permit (IDP)
On August 1st 2016 the International Drivers License (IDL) became recognized in Vietnam – but only for certain countries. These countries were signatories to the 1968 Convention International Driving License (IDL).
Check if your country recognized by Vietnam on this link.
If your country was a signatory to this convention you can purchase an insurance policy that covers you for riding in Vietnam. You will need to take your original driver's license with a motorbike endorsement to the transport authorities in your country to obtain it.
Australia, USA and Canada are not signatories to the 1968 Convention therefore, citizens of those countries are NOT able to drive in Vietnam with their IDPs. However, the UK has just been recognized.
2. How to get a Vietnamese motorbike license
Convert your original license to a Vietnamese license:
If you hold a car or motorbike license from your home country (and hold a temporary residence card of three months or more in Vietnam) you are eligible to convert your driver's licence from your home country to a Vietnamese driver's license. In short, it is a straight-forward conversion.
Please note that the duration of your Vietnamese license will be the same duration as your home country's license. Therefore, it's strongly advised to make sure that your original license won't expire while you are in Vietnam. When your original license expires you can only renew it back in your home country.
Have a valid driver’s license from home country but not a Motorbike License:
If you hold a valid driver’s license from your own country (and hold a temporary residence card of three months or more in Vietnam) you can obtain a Vietnamese motorbike license by passing a practical motorbike driving test. To pass the test you will need to apply and book an appointment – often several weeks in advance and you need to practice for it. It is advised to ask help from a Vietnamese friend or HR representative at your company with this process. If you make use of a service company, you can expect to pay about 3 to 4 times more than the original fees. The whole process shouldn't be more than 650,000 VND.
This is how the driving test course will look like:
Do not have any driver’s license:
If this is you, you will need to pass both the theory and driver's tests to obtain a motorbike license. You will need to be fluent in Vietnamese as the theory test is unfortunately only available in Vietnamese and you are not allowed to have a translator.
3. Drive a 50cc motorbike
Vietnam does not require you to hold a license to drive a 50cc motorbike (scooter or electric bike). However, you should check if your home country does. Whilst you may be legal in Vietnam you may not be legal (policy wise) in your home country.
When you start working at Fisher's SuperKids English Center our HR office can help you every step of the way in obtaining a driver's licence.